Let’s face it! We all want to be associated with people who are influential. One of the best things that can happen for sales is to have an Industry Influencer speak, blog or Tweet positive comments about your product and/or service. Having this third party endorsement from an independent Thought Leader can be gold. So, how do you go about creating an environment that can foster organic Influencer commentary? It is not as difficult as you think. Here are five simple steps to take to get started:
#1 Have a good product/service – The first step should not be a surprise. You need a product or service that is top-notch. For an Industry Influencer to promote something it can’t just be good, it has to be great! Focus on being great!
#2 Delight Your Customers You need to make your customers happy. Delight your customers. Delighted customers talk – as do unhappy customers. As momentum builds, Industry Influencers interest will be piqued!
#3 Identify Your Influencers – Think about the people in your industry who are of interest to you. Who inspires you? What books are you reading? What blogs do you follow? Who would you like to emulate and/or be your mentor? Chances are, these people are your Industry Influencers.
Build a list of these individuals and build a database for easy tracking and future reporting purposes.
#4 Follow them, but don’t stock them – Follow your Industry Influencers in all their social channels. Some information maybe the same, but since each channel can be used differently, following in all could expose you to different content and through engagement you could meet different people, thus expanding your network.
That being said, just because you follow an Industry Influencer does not mean that you are best buds. It takes time to build a relationship, particularly online. To help build that relationship, comment on the Influencer’s blog, ask thoughtful questions and offer additional insight. Over time you will build a relationship.
#5 Determine Your Objectives & Execute – Once you have gone through steps 1 through 4, you then need to determine what you wish to accomplish through having an Influencer Program. To help keep you focused, avoid the 5 Myths About Influencer Relationships and align your objectives to your top three business KPIs and start to execute. Just remember Rome wasn’t build over night.
(A version of this post previously appeared on a salesforce blog)